All In Good Time

Attila and I sold our home in the country in September, and turned our lives upside down. Since then our existence has been largely based on “a wing and a prayer”. Attila had no job here at Mist Cottage, and continued to work in the country, living in his vehicle. Then, after two weeks of “camping” in Tank (old Toyota FJ Cruiser), he found a minimum wage, temporary position near Mist Cottage, and took the leap. He has been job hunting ever since, as his present position could evaporate at any instant, is very low paying, offers no benefits, and has zero job security.

Yesterday Attila attended a job interview for a real job, we have our fingers crossed, but won’t find out anything for a few weeks. We are very happy with this development.

The unpacking has slowed somewhat, as we are now faced with the issue of where to put everything. Clearly, more must go, but what?! Every day I try to sort through a box, or a pile of stuff.

What we need here is small-house appropriate furniture. There were two homemade closets in this house when we bought it. They were very rough, and the one in the back bedroom was covered with mildew and mold, which had permeated the wood, and was impossible to conquer; that closet was ripped out and taken to the dump, leaving one closet in the front bedroom. That one closet is jammed full of our clothes, to the point that any piece of clothing coming out of that closet is hopelessly wrinkled, too wrinkled to be worn. The house worked well as it was, as a cottage, but needs some adjustments to live in full time.

We need wardrobes to hang our clothes. We also need beds with drawers beneath them, as there is little room for dressers in this house. I have my eye on practical wood furniture from a Canadian manufacturer, but it is costly, so we must wait to see if our income recovers before considering this alternative. I also have my eye on Kijiji, watching for the items we need, because you just never know. We also need practical storage units for the living room and dining room, but that is less important to us than the bedroom.

Just after the move there were two of everything in the kitchen, two ketchup bottles, two bags of flour, etc. etc. It has been almost two months since the move, and clutter in the kitchen is beginning to diminish. For the first four weeks the recycling box was overflowing, but no more. We have purchased very few food supplies since arriving, mostly milk and fresh vegetables, so that our stored food clutter is diminishing daily. The kitchen is becoming a lot more user friendly.

Yesterday I paid the last of the moving bills! I also sent off the Bell modem, returning it after cancelling their internet service. Their service was so very slow, our new cable service is like lighting by comparison, and it is almost the slowest cable service available. Bell has given me such a difficult time over the years. They are such a large company, and there is little administrative cohesion. I dreaded calling them for any reason at all, because the problem always got a lot worse before it got better, and often they created new problems during the call. During our last fiasco, they sold us a product that didn’t exist at our location, claiming that it did exist, billed us for it, ignored the loss of service we suffered as a result of it, and just generally do not own their own processes of interaction with their customers. I will never do business with Bell again unless I have no other choice.

My genealogy book went up for sale yesterday, I have sold two copies thus far. I am not expecting to sell a lot of books, but it would be nice to sell enough of them to pay for the cost of publishing the books. I had to send one copy to Library and Archives Canada, which was not a sale, but a requirement of the government. It is a very big relief to get the book to this stage. I am already planning the outline for the second volume. And beginning to research my Grandmother’s side of the family more thoroughly, aiming at another series of books, which will give me projects to work on well into the future.

I was pleasantly surprised by a friendly missive from a distant relative, on my Granny’s side, who I did not know existed. There are gaps in my research! I have been corresponding with my newly found cousins, who live out west, where their branch of the family headed three generations ago. They are warm, friendly people, such a pleasure to meet them.

My days here at Mist Cottage pass quickly and peacefully. It has been many years since I have been this busy, and since I have been allowed by the universe to have so much of Attila’s company. It still feels as if we are on an extended vacation. I imagine that feeling will pass, the “honeymoon” phase of our new life will slowly evolve into a quiet, low-key existence. As my little sister is fond of saying, “it’s all good”.

Radon Gas

For the last five years I have wondered about radon gas in the basement at Mist Cottage, do we have a problem here? Since we did not live here, and we were supporting two homes, I took no action. This past week a missive arrived from the Canadian government, reminding people to test their homes for radon gas, as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in this country. I decided that it is time to test the house, and if necessary take steps to correct any issues. To that end I found a link for a radon gas detection device at the Canadian Lung Association web site, and ordered the item. It has shipped, I got notice yesterday, so it should arrive in the mail soon. We don’t spend a lot of time in our basement, it is a large storage closet/laundry room/utility room; but it won’t hurt to know where we stand on radon gas.

Since it is such a problem for long-term health, I think our Canadian, and/or Provincial governments would be well advised to step in and require a testing program for all newly built homes, and offer the testing free to homeowners in existing homes, and to people who live in basement apartments. If the country wants to reduce health care usage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We offer free flu shots here, why not free radon gas testing?

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Mostly Cloudy
14°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Friday 6 November 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.7°C
Dewpoint: 11.4°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: SSE 9 km/h

Quote

“Charity sees the need not the cause.”
German Proverb

Therein lies the problem.

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11 Responses to All In Good Time

  1. I love reading about your day to day accomplishments and thoughts. You have so much resilience! Good luck with your book sales. I admire that you have been able to stick with it in spite of the upheaval of selling a house and settling into another.

  2. So exciting to learn something new about your family near or far. I joined a discussion list for people researching their ancestors who lived at Frome in Somerset county, England, and last week got an email from someone who had done up and donated wills of people in the area — anyway, with information about what a 5xgreat-uncle had left to my 4xgreat-gramps and 3x-great-gramps and two of their brothers. Just so intriguing … he had left his best bed to one of them, for instance. Say, will you be coming west to meet these newfound relatives?

  3. Thank you for the encouragement Lucky Few! I have been very inspired to keep going with the book as several of my older relatives, who have helped me so much with my research, have had serious health events over the last year. I felt it imperative to get the book to them so that they could enjoy it, and perhaps to provide them with a pleasant distraction from their health issues.

    I know that when I think about my mortality, I am comforted by my position in the chain of life to which I belong. I do not know if other’s feel this way, but just in case, I wanted the book to be out there.

  4. Kate, bumping into that person working on wills was wonderful! I love the details of daily life. I wonder what the world was like, a world in which one would inherit a person’s best bed, receiving the gift of a good night’s sleep. I have been enjoying your forays into your old journals, and it would be interesting to hear about your ancestors as well.

    I would absolutely love to visit my relatives out west; so many branches of my Mom’s family headed west. Up until our move I would have held out no hope at all of ever travelling again. BUT, now that Attila is working at jobs that are not seasonally intense, we just might get vacation time when the weather is conducive to travel. I have my fingers crossed. Would love to drop in for a visit if we do get to head west Kate!

    P.S. I forgot to add that now that we do not heat with wood, we can set the thermostat, shut the front door, and off we go!

  5. Bex Crowell says:

    As to the radon gas, I would think that you do not need to “live in” the basement for it to seriously affect you. It’s gas, it travels all over the house. It’s good you are checking it out. I think we used a kit to check our house many years ago and it was negative. We’re still here so it must have been. But just saying that the gas won’t “stay” down below… so it’s best to know one way or the other.

    Is your book available to buy by the public? Maybe on amazn, which is the only place I buy anything anymore?

    xxx

  6. Of course you are right Bex, radon travels through the whole house. The reason I targeted basements is that they are the contact point with mother earth, where the radon usually leaks in, and they are usually not well ventilated, so that the gas can accumulate easily there. Mist Cottage is well “ventilated”, wind whistles through areas and the attic hatch is a joke, so we get some dissipation, as most older homes do. New homes are much more air tight, so they would not offer the same ongoing ventilation. I would check the house even if it didn’t have a basement.

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/radiation/radon/faq_fq-eng.php

  7. Nora says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I hope Attila’s job interview yields good results. You both so deserve it. You’ve both been through quite a year!

    Every time I read about your unpacking and rearranging, and trying to make things fit I can feel it. I am so familiar with this movement though in different ways as we never had two homes at once. So many decisions to be made but at least you are making steady progress.

    Needing wardrobes and drawers under the bed sound good. Sis had someone years ago make her a bed platform with drawers under the mattress and it worked out so well. I love the idea. Can never have enough drawers and shelves! Ever.

    I’m glad the kitchen is started to dance with you. I imagine for you this is an important part of your home.

    Paid the last of the moving bills…hallelujah!

    You feel about Bell like we feel about AT&T. Never again. We have TWC but that still is not the cat’s pajamas. Can’t live with them and can’t live without them.

    Congratulations on your book and the sales!!!! Yay. You must feel so good having the book in print now and up for sale. I think that is nice that you have discovered more family and are in communication with them. My family is spread out and I know very, very little about any of them. That creates a void. I wish I knew more.

    Glad to hear you are so content and happy at Mist Cottage with your Honey. x0x0x0x0x0x

  8. Thanks Nora, for the good wishes re Attila’s interview. He is a great employee, so any company would be lucky to get him, I just hope he ends up somewhere where quality of service is of some significance to the company.

    The kitchen is the central point in our home! Since we cook everything from scratch, and eat out only a few times year, the kitchen is where we spend an awful lot of time. We haven’t had a dishwasher for over 20 years, so not only is our time spent cooking, but it is also spent washing up. And it is getting better and better in the kitchen as the weeks pass.

    The dressers are vital to a comfortable flow of life in this small house, so it will be worth the significant investment required… if and when we ever have the resources to purchase what we need. In the meantime, we are making every effort to streamline things as they are.

    I understand that void created by unfulfilled connections to family. I started just knowing who my Grandparents were, and working my way back from there. Ancestry makes it simple now, but when I started it was a matter of checking film reels for microfiche reference numbers, ordering the microfiches, and then booking the busy microfiche machines when the items arrived. It was time consuming, painstaking, work. I was hooked though. Now I can access the same material in seconds, by paying an annual fee to ancestry. But there are limits, such as the burning of records in Ireland, that create brick walls that are rarely scaled, and then only by luck and chance. It is a fascinating way to spend time, almost mindless, like knitting, like knitting with people to create a warm blanket of connections.

  9. NORA says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I did not make myself clear enough. I have a lot of the family tree on my dad’s side of the family going back to England. My mom started it and my uncle updated it years later. Then I found a group online who were researching the name Beeman and they gave the info I had two thumbs up. But what I meant and failed to get across was that I wish I knew more about the personal lives of family members, especially my mother and father.

  10. Nora, you are very lucky to have such a rich family history recorded.

    I think I take your meaning about learning about the personal lives of your family members.

    It fascinates me when other researchers in my family line write personal accounts of the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors, people they have never met. They create wholly romanticized projections of the personal lives of people long dead, who lived in an entirely different context. I admire that you desire to know the people themselves.

  11. NORA says:

    Maggie,
    I hardly understand any of my family history. Of course the not so good parts are remembered. I just wish I had asked a lot more questions when my parents were alive though I don’t know if I would have gotten straight answers. People (at least in my family) weren’t really to verbal about their past etc. I don’t even know how my mom and dad met!